How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate

How to Cool the Planet Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth s Climate Right now a group of scientists is working on ways to minimize the catastrophic impact of global warming But they re not designing hybrids or fuel cells or wind turbines They re trying to lower the t

  • Title: How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate
  • Author: Jeff Goodell
  • ISBN: 9780618990610
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Right now, a group of scientists is working on ways to minimize the catastrophic impact of global warming But they re not designing hybrids or fuel cells or wind turbines They re trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet And they re doing it with huge contraptions that suck CO2 from the air, machines that brighten clouds and deflect sunlight away from the earRight now, a group of scientists is working on ways to minimize the catastrophic impact of global warming But they re not designing hybrids or fuel cells or wind turbines They re trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet And they re doing it with huge contraptions that suck CO2 from the air, machines that brighten clouds and deflect sunlight away from the earth, even artificial volcanoes that spray heat reflecting particles into the atmosphere.This is the radical and controversial world of geoengineering, which only five years ago was considered to be fringe But as Jeff Goodell points out, the economic crisis, combined with global political realities, is making these ideas look sane, even inspired Goodell himself started out as a skeptic, concerned about tinkering with the planet s thermostat We can t even predict next week s weather, so how are we going to change the temperature of whole regions What if a wealthy entrepreneur shoots particles into the stratosphere on his own Who gets blamed if something goes terribly wrong And perhaps most disturbing, what about wars waged with climate control as the primary weapon There are certainly risks, but Goodell believes the alternatives could be worse In the end, he persuades us that geoengineering may just be our last best hope a Plan B for the environment His compelling tale of scientific hubris and technical daring is sure to jump start the next big debate about the future of life on earth.

    853 Comment

    • Jason says:

      Are you a good citizen? Really? Well, good for you, sunshine. I don't think I'm a good citizen--well, not the best citizen I can be. I mean, I've been in the Air Force for 14 years, and have at least another 6 years at minimum. My salary comes from your taxes. And for that salary I'm happy to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, so there's no conscription or mandatory service for you or my kids. My family endures long periods of time without me while I'm overseas, in austere conditions, and in harm's [...]

    • Kend says:

           To be absolutely truthful, I finished Jeff Goodell's How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate three weeks ago, before all of the end of semester hullabaloo took over my life.  It's a relatively easy and quick read, but I'll admit: I'm a skeptic.  Not an global-warming-denier kind of skeptic, but a humans-can-fix-the-world skeptic.  No matter where you sit on the spectrum of thinkers on climate change and its cause(s), the statistics don't [...]

    • Nicole says:

      How to Cool the Planet blew my mind with a previously unknown topic: geoengineering. Goodell soberly presents the arguments for and against this cutting edge science, showing clearly that geoengineering is actually nothing new, and that by denying scientists the opportunity to research technologies that could cool the planet, bring rains to dry land, or increase the carbon intake of oceans through phytoplankton blooms, we could be failing to develop the real remedies in a future climate crisis. [...]

    • Mishehu says:

      An entertaining, informative, sobering, balanced read. Less one star on account of some repetitive editorializing. Heady stuff to contemplate. Rather terrifying that we need to seriously consider mass environmental engineering projects like the ones this book describes. Obvious that we do. My proposal: scatter three trillion tons of N.Y. Times confetti (uniformly coating the earth's landmass) and release 2 billion white balloons into the upper atmosphere. (Spread 8 quintillion tons of mayonnaise [...]

    • Henry says:

      This book getes to grip with the "unthinkable"--geoengineering to cool the globe, using methods such as increasing albedo in clouds or seeding the stratosphere with sulfur oxide, as well as putting iron into the oceans. Some are zany and obviously won't work. A good read, if you want toknow the alternative to global warming. Cutting CO2 emissions to almost nothing won't work.

    • Matt says:

      A really good primer on the bizarro, but increasingly relevant world of geoengineering. Through methods such as cloud seeding, particle injection into the stratosphere, and iron fertilization of the ocean, geoengineering represents the technical, god-complex approach to cooling the climate. A few years ago these technologies were largely written off as the sole realm of fringe scientists and industries willing to consider any temperature-reduction scheme other than actually reducing emissions. H [...]

    • Riku Sayuj says:

      Geo-Engineering or Cosmic Protectionism “We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend.”~ John Maynard Keynes, 1933We must recognize the limits to protectionism, especially when applied to protect rival goods against competition from non-rival goods.Frédéric Bastiat’s classic satire, “Petition of the Candlemakers Against the Sun”, is given new relevance by demands for Geoengineering. Written in 1845 in defense of free trade and against nation [...]

    • Srivas says:

      A provocative book, ably explores the myriad issues surrounding planetary climate geoengineering. Goodell quickly surveys various options for capturing carbon (his take: likely to be fairly slow) and reducing sunlight absorption, and concludes that these options are extremely powerful, extremely uncertain in their impact, and extremely cheap - we're talking cheap enough for individual billionaires to pull off. Given this context it is natural for him to spend much time thinking about social, cul [...]

    • Emily Cahill says:

      Basically what this book is trying to do is to engage as many people as possible with the issue of using geoengineering techniques to lessen the effects of climate change. When I first picked it up I thought the chances of anyone being able to do these techniques was really small. I had heard of techniques such as planting trees or growing masses of plankton in the oceans to capture carbon. But I had not heard of the techniques people are working on to make the earth's atmosphere more reflective [...]

    • Paul Childs says:

      This book is kinda interesting. The geo-engineering technologies are described in some detail as well as some of the scientists behind the ideas.The author seems to be enamored with some of the technological solutions, but is still objective enough in order to see that there are a lot of negatives or unknowns that accompany each idea.The biggest questions about this book and the technologies is are we too late to prevent the worst of global warning or can we still realistically cut back in time [...]

    • Jim says:

      Goodell tells the tales of scientists and entrepreneurs who think they can fix the climate by engineering the Earth system itself. One of them, Ken Caldiera, was my office mate at the Penn State Earth System Science Center. I can hear Ken's words throughout Goodell's reporting. Some fascinating ideas are on display in this book. It allows me to appreciate truly big ideas which aren't in the field of Information Technology. "How to Cool the Planet" is a great read.

    • AdamMcPhee says:

      A good overview of the subject. Looks at interesting projects in the field such as a carbon sequestering device (built at the university of Calgary), a rogue attempt at ocean fertilization, and attempts to manipulate Earth's albedo via cloud brightening. Sidetrips into 19th century rainmakers and contemporary chemtrail conspiracists seem a bit tangential. I don't think any of it is going to work, though.

    • Linda says:

      Goodell explores the science, politics, financial and moral aspects of geoengineering as a way to cool the planet - as well as making the reader aware that our attempts to cut CO2 may not be too little too late. A must read for everyone concerned about life on our planet!

    • Jeppe Haarsted says:

      Good introduction to the topic of geoengineering. Briefly describes the main technologies but this is basically a book about the ethical and moral concerns about geoengineering. Makes a good argument for why we cannot simply dismiss geoengineering but must understand the science better - fast.

    • Art says:

      recommended by Marsha/booklist online

    • Mason says:

      See my review of this book, along with Eli Kintisch's Hack the Planet: "The Geoengineering Genie"

    • Andrea says:

      A helpful, very accessible introduction to geoengineering and climate intervention.

    • Kelsey Breseman says:

      Very approachable introduction to the field of geoengineering. Fun read if you're an engineer or otherwise problem-solver.

    • Mitch Allen says:

      Ambitious but doesn't succeed. It is provocative and contributes some great ideas, but more noise than signal.

    • Kshappert says:

      Sobering readoengineering is starting to gain momentum as we must consider far reaching opportunities to reverse global warming

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *